OK, you’ve waited a while for me finally to get to the Lake of Fire in the book of Revelation. But just think of it as the Final Judgment: you know it’s coming soon, but you don’t know when.
Here is what I think about it (both the final judgment and the lake of fire) (clarification: this is not what *I* think of these things; this is what I think *Revelation* is saying about these things). As previously indicated, I do not think Revelation teaches that sinners will be tormented forever. They will be annihilated out of existence.
The horrifying “lake of fire” makes its first appearance in Revelation 19. Christ, along with his heavenly armies, appears from heaven for the “Last Battle.” In a flash their arch-enemies on earth are soundly defeated and punished. The supernatural opponents of Christ – the Beast and his prophet – are thrown, living, into the “lake of fire that burns with sulfur.” Their human allies, on the other hand, are “slain with a sword,” and all the birds become “gorged with their flesh” (19:20-21) In other words, the dead, for now, are dead.
If the author has already informed us that the beast is actually the empire of Rome, then obviously it is difficult to imagine …
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